The web is overflowing with iPad love and attention

I’ve been sitting here this morning while on vacation reading over a couple of  iPad reviews (kids are still in bed from a late night at a theme park). One review is from Walt Mossberg at the Wall St Journal and the other is from David Pogue at the New York Times. I found both reviews via a GottaBeMobile post discussing the battery life on the iPad.

According to Mossberg, “My verdict is that, while it has compromises and drawbacks, the iPad can indeed replace a laptop for most data communication, content consumption and even limited content creation, a lot of the time. But it all depends on how you use your computer.” My initial thought was that he was crazy, but the more I read through his description of uses the more I realized he’s probably correct. Many people already use their iPhone or iPod touch for what he identifies as mainly a “web surfer, note-taker, social-networker and emailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music” device.

Along the same lines, Pogue says that “The bottom line is that you can get a laptop for much less money — with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works. Besides: If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?”. Even though this sounds like the opposite of what Mossberg had to say it’s really the same thing.

Bottom like is that you’re not going to make this device your production machine. If you’re a coder, database designer, etc you’ll still need a laptop or desktop machine. However if you need a device with similar functionality to your iPhone/iPod touch for email, short correspondence, movies, music or games then you and the iPad will probably be very happy together. Only time will tell

My wife and I had a lengthy discussion about the iPad a few days ago. I have one on the way and we’re trying to decide whether or not to get one for her. Strange really when you consider we’ve never actually laid hands on the device. Anyway, my wife pointed out that to really make the iPad useful it has to be on your person when you need it; good point. This is similar to the e-reader dilemma that I run into. I know several people with either a Nook or Kindle and when I ask to see the device they frequently tell me they don’t have it with them. They typically say “if I would have known you wanted to look at it I would have brought it”. I realize the iPad will have more functionality, but it is larger than a typical e-reader. The thing that makes the iPhone/iPod touch so darn useful is the fact that you can throw it in your pocket. People always have their phone with them. Are you likely to carry your iPad with the same consistency? A question worth asking. For women that carry a purse or handbag it may not be an issue. For women that don’t or men that don’t carry a briefcase everywhere they go it may be a problem. My Dell tablet is rather small when compared to full sized laptops, but I don’t carry it with me unless I think I’ll need it. I would if it was convenient, but it won’t fit in my pocket so I don’t. Pretty simple.

Here’s something else from Pogue’s review that I found interesting: “There’s an e-book reader app, but it’s not going to rescue the newspaper and book industries (sorry, media pundits). The selection is puny (60,000 titles for now). You can’t read well in direct sunlight. At 1.5 pounds, the iPad gets heavy in your hand after awhile (the Kindle is 10 ounces). And you can’t read books from the Apple bookstore on any other machine — not even a Mac or iPhone.” – I’ve said it many times, reading a book on a back-lit screen is a terrible reading experience. That’s why I like the e-reader screens. For me the iPad was never going to be a good device for reading. I see no difference between reading on the iPad and my tablet flipped into slate mode. I prefer a paper document or reading on my daughter’s Nook over reading off a computer screen.

I certainly believe the iPad will be overwhelmingly accepted by the general public. Apple currently has the golden touch when it comes to consumer electronics and the iPad won’t be any different. I plan to use mine as a test device in the pharmacy. If I can get 10-plus hours of battery life out of a device that pharmacists can use as a tool to access patient information and drug information resources from the patient bedside, then I will consider it a success. I’ve already asked some of the pharmacists about using it, and their response has been lukewarm at best. Most want to know if it will have a keyboard; uh, nope.  So far most of the pharmacists prefer the convertible tablet pc models over the slate because they can quickly access a physical keyboard when necessary. Regardless of the iPad’s “coolness factor”, it will have to meet the needs of the pharmacists to be effective. I’m just sayin’.

2 thoughts on “The web is overflowing with iPad love and attention”

  1. The iPad is a device for home entertainment first and foremost. What does it “take the place of”; books, newspapers, magazines, music players, and movies. Back when people had coffee tables what did you find on them? Books, magazines, and newspapers. I honestly believe the iPad is meant to be left on the coffee table for folks to pick up and peruse.

    Use #1:

    “Jerry, what time does that movie start?”
    “Let me check” – Pick up the iPad

    Use #2:
    Subscription to magazines you used to get physical copies of.

    Use #3:
    In place of the Kindle for many.

    Use #4:
    The kids are watching television and your wife is playing COD, but you want to watch a movie. Done. Netflix has an app on the device, plus you have iTunes.

    I’m sure there are going to be plenty of home uses for it and I’d expect to see a lot of crossover to business uses. In your case, the hospital.

    If I had the time, and the money, I’d quit my day job right now and start building hospital applications. Dashboards for Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses, and Administration. There’s no reason you couldn’t build great experiences. Provide that single point of integration that masks all the nastiness you experience with the different UI’s each and every day.

    I’m just sayin’.

  2. Good points bro, all of them, but let me play devils advocate for a second here.

    Use #1:
    “Jerry, what time does that movie start?”
    “Let me check” – Tap “Movies” icon on the home page of DROID already configured to grab movie times from Edwards

    Use #2 and #3:
    Already explained why I don’t like the idea of reading on the iPad. For some, yes. For me, no.

    Use #4:
    Agree about iTunes
    Can watch Netflix on my tablet and it has a bigger screen, although battery life could be an issue. I’m lucky to get 2.5 hrs out of my tablet on a single charge.

    It’s hard for me to argue against the iPad. You know me, I’m going to get one and love every second of it. I don’t really need one, but I have to have one. The idea of surfing from the couch with such a great device is reason enough for me to have one. And as you mention, the integration with iTunes can’t be passed up; it’s one of the reasons the iPhone is so compelling to me and why I continue to consider it even though I don’t like AT&T.

    I wish you could quit your “real job” and start developing for healthcare as well. The battery life alone gives this device unlimited potential in healthcare. Throw in the piece you and I discussed recently and – BAM! – more uses then you can shake a stick at.

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